Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids

Snow Sports

So, I made my debut as a downhill skier this weekend when we went to Manning Park Resort along with the rest of the town (I knew Manning is popular with ‘Hamsters, but I didn’t realize they were all from my neighborhood).

We weren’t actually sure our family would be going this year because of our splurge on tickets to California but when we floated the idea to the kids a while back, they staged a mutiny and said they would rather go to Manning than Disneyland, that’s how much they love it. But we had already bought tickets for SoCal, so what were we to do? We went to Manning, cost be hanged.

Anyway, maybe you could have told me this, but there’s a fundamental risk in taking up new sports that involve icy hills when you’re over forty. I knew this. Let me just say, in my defense, that I have been skiing on a back country/cross-country hybrid ski for 15 years, so I know how to get down hills without falling. And when I put on the downhill skis and went down the bunny hill, I felt incredibly liberated, just like everyone said I would, because I had so much control. By the second run, I was parallel turning without even thinking about it. Your body just knows what to do.

Two bunny runs later, Ty and I went together to the “blue chair” to try our hand at a green run. Ty is a downhill skier, but he hadn’t been on skis at all this year and in my book he qualifies as a beginner, although he might not agree. Turns out we were good partners. We were both a little freaked out by the steepness of the slope, and we both flailed our way down with equal lack of grace. But I only fell once, so I was stoked.

And I only fell once on the next run. And the next, although that fall very nearly wiped out another woman who didn’t even realize how close she was to obliteration because she wasn’t looking and at the last second as I was about to mow her down, my body flew right around her. She didn’t understand why I was apologizing so profusely as I picked myself up, and I had to explain how close she came to two broken legs.

Then someone, another ‘Hamster, recommended a green run on the “orange chair,” said I might like it, so we checked it out. But it was just enough harder that Ty and I felt out of our league. He kept track of my falls. “You had eight bails, Mom (is that I was doing?) and I only had four.”

I guess having your beginner mom along makes you look pretty good. In fact, Leah wouldn’t even ski with me, she was so busy proving herself to the more experienced skiers. “Your runs are too easy for me, Mom.” Yeah, um, no. You’re avoiding me because you’re eleven and I’m a novice. That’s “dork” to a tweener.

In the afternoon, the kids headed back to the lodge and suddenly I was free to hang with my husband and work on my technique. I think that’s where the trouble began. When you start thinking too much about what you’re doing, you get tentative. I had done just fine flinging myself down the hill and falling when I was out of control. Now I was actually falling more, little falls because I couldn’t commit to the turns because I was going too slowly because I was thinking too much, caring too much. And somehow on one of those little falls, I was facing downhill and dragging my skis behind me, and feeling my knees complain, and then there was a distinct pop. It hurts just remembering.

Long story short, I’m limping. Taking Ibu every four hours. Heading in to see the doc when he can fit me in. Forward motion is okay but anything lateral and I get tweaky pain. Curt is as disappointed as I am because what with my ankle surgery last year and all, we’re really ready for me to be completely healthy and mobile. Forever.

But if you ask me if you should try downhill skiing, I’d still say go for it. In the meantime, I’ll let you know what the doctor says.  

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